The accidental brewery

October 26th, 2009 | Posted by Real Beer

Making beer at home is one thing. Selling it is another.

The British government has told a Hampshire man he must now pay duty, keep better records and undergo a background check for a license to sell his beer.

The Metro reports it began when Robert Shields, who brews 100 pints (or 12.5 gallons) a month, decided to start charging friends just six months after he started brewing.

But before selling the home-made Moorlands and Runnymede bitters, he was told to convert his shed into a bonded warehouse and apply for two licences.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom’s guidelines added that he must pay 20p duty a bottle, measure how much alcohol is in his beer and record how much malt he buys.

(He) also had to get a personal licence to sell alcohol and undergo a criminal records check by the police.

“It’s totally over the top for someone who just wants to sell beer to friends,” he said.

However a spokesman for the a Campaign for Real Ale, a consumer advocate group, said: “It’s right that if you are selling it to people then you have to make sure it is of a demonstrable quality.”

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5 Responses to “The accidental brewery”

  1. banjo Says:

    He should start a mug club instead and get money for ingredients up front, that way he’s not really selling it…right?

  2. Velky Al Says:

    So he is not happy to give his friends beer for the sheer pleasure of seeing them enjoy it? Has he never heard of the word “donation”?

  3. Colby Says:

    I agree with Velky, I mean when I’m at my house I don’t make my friends pay for their beer if we’re just enjoying ourselves lightly, and I get the same at their house. I guess you could make a case for the government being too invasive in this case, but really I call the seller more so in the wrong under manners and legalities.

  4. Good Burp Says:

    As bad as it sounds, i am thinking “Is that it”? That is all he has to do? He doesn’t have to fork over Hundreds of Thousands of dollars, and apply, and reapply, and still get denied by the state?

    Sure, he is charging his friends for beer. But how much? But who cares?

    He just went into business with a built in client base.

    Poor guy.

  5. Fred Says:

    Charging friends for beer is kind of tight and I suspect that maybe some of his “friends” were just folks who heard he made some good beer.